Chefs' Recipes

Paul Carmichael's curried lamb leg

Restaurant Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael slow-cooks his curried lamb leg "until it falls off the bone." It's as excellent as it sounds.

By Paul Carmichael
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 9 hrs cooking plus resting
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Paul Carmichael's curried lamb leg
"Mum would always whip up a leg of lamb basted in curry and it was so delicious. A version of this would find its way to our table during the year if someone slaughtered a lamb. But it was a staple at Christmas," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "Over the years I've developed a love for pulled meats, so I'll slow-cook mine until it falls off the bone." If you're short of time, roast the lamb the classic way - at 200C for 15 minutes, then another hour and 20 minutes at 180C for medium-rare or until cooked to your liking. Rest it well regardless.
Pictured with peas and rice.


  • 1 lamb leg (about 2.5kg)
  • Lemon juice and lemons or limes, to serve
Curry powder
  • 1 tbsp ground tumeric
  • 1¼ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp coarsely crushed black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¾ tsp ground sumac
  • Small pinch ground cloves
Curry paste
  • 1¼ tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp white peppercorns
  • 110 gm butter, diced
  • 300 gm golden shallots, finely chopped (10 large)
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely grated (20 gm)
  • 1½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1¼ tbsp oyster sauce
  • 20 gm caster sugar
  • 15 gm kecap manis


  • 1
    For curry powder, combine ingredients.
  • 2
    For curry paste, toast peppercorns in a small frying pan over low heat until fragrant, then crush with a mortar and pestle. Melt butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat, add shallot and garlic and sauté until translucent (9-10 minutes). Add pepper, sauté over low heat until fragrant (3-5 minutes), then add curry powder and fry until fragrant (1 minute). Add remaining ingredients and cook until flavours are combined (2-3 minutes). Cool.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 120C. Rinse lamb, pat dry with paper towels and make deep incisions all over the leg.
    Season lamb with salt, fill incisions with curry paste and coat leg with remainder. Place leg on a rack in a roasting pan, cover pan with baking paper and foil, and roast until lamb is falling from the bone (8-8½ hours). Rest in pan for 30-40 minutes, then crank your oven up to 200C, unwrap leg and roast until a crust forms (15-20 minutes). Season with lemon juice and serve with lemons or limes.


Drink Suggestion: A syrah from the Macedon Ranges, such as 2008 Cobaw Ridge Syrah. Drink suggestion by Amberose Chiang